Yee-haw! It’s a Backyard Jamboree!

Here at the Swan Lake Visitors Center, tickets are flying out the door for the Sumter Green Fall Feast, being held Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the USC Sumter Nettles Building.  Don’t wait too much longer, or you might not get any!

Now, in my recent post on that event, I granted “[my] personal permission” for everyone to forget about their diets that night and eat everything in sight.  But I neglected to mention that you get to do it twice—and for an equally good cause.  How is that possible?  It’s because the following week, on Friday, September 28, Sumter Senior Services is hosting the Eighth Annual Backyard Jamboree at the O’Donnell House, 120 East Liberty Street.

There are some important differences between the two events.  The Backyard Jamboree features one main dish, a hallmark of the South—BARBECUE!  Prepared by some of Sumter’s top Pit Masters, the menu features much more than the noble pig.  There will also be barbecued chicken, beef and hot dogs on the menu, along with Williamsburg-style pulled pork (Jonathan Teseniar says that his is extra spicy).  The other masters include Gary Elmore, and Larry Matthews.  Along with barbecue, the featured side dishes are chili, baked beans, slaw and desserts.  There will be a variety of soft drinks and adult beverages (including microbrews) available.

New this year is a Chinese Auction (similar to a Silent Auction).  Among other great items, an original oil painting by Ray Davenport will be up for bid.

As if all of this were not enough, the evening will also feature live music performed by Nashville artist Becki McLeod and her band.  Ms. McLeod is a Sumter native whose professional career began in 2000 as a member of Carolina Blonde.  She moved to Nashville in 2003, where her powerful country/soul vocals have developed quite a following.  An exceedingly well-rounded and capable artist, Ms. McLeod has also performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and others.  Her first album, the independent release Shiftin’ Gears, came out in 2010.

All in all, it’s going to be one heck of a party!  Tickets for the Backyard Jamboree are available online from or at Sumter Senior Services—call (803) 773-5508.  Adult tickets are $25 each ($30 at the door), with discounts available for seniors, military and children.  Children five and under are admitted free, and the fun starts at 5:30 p.m.

Piggly Wiggly is the Corporate Sponsor, with additional Signature Sponsorship from Amedisys Hospice/Home Health, FTC, Marketplace Spirits, Reliable Medical Equipment, Centerline Fabrications and many other sponsors. Proceeds benefit the Meals on Wheels program.

Now, I happen to know that Williamsburg barbecue is peppery and vinegar-based, and it’s really good.  But I’m a North Carolina native, so don’t even get me started on the Sauce Wars…just bring your appetite and prepare for a down-home great evening!

(Please note:  This is a rain-or-shine event.  Typically, this event is held outdoors, but in case of inclement weather, it will be held inside the O’Donnell House.)

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